Buddy and I headed over to Easton for a lesson with Simon Grieve. After a busy week, I was feeling a little jaded. Thankfully Buddy was in good form.

A couple of blips, but lots to like. Simon was complimentary and gave me a few notes to work on. Mostly keeping my hands stiller. I can get a bit flappy. I know this. Today I felt like Animal from the Muppets. Thinking of him made me laugh I can tell you.

Thankfully I didn’t look that bad. Or so I was told. And I was very lucky to have some videos. I can feel a montage coming on…


Jump around

Took Buddy over to World Horse Welfare today for a jumping lesson with Judith Barker. She’d set up a grid and a mix of show jumps and XC-style ones too.

Buddy was on very good form. And Judith said she could see improvements from our last lesson. So that’s good.

After a well-earned sausage roll and coffee (me not him), I went for a wander round to see some of the residents. These two cuties got lots of scratches. They’re so tiny compared to Buddy.

Winter is definitely on the way. I had to break out the ‘big dressing gown’ and over trousers earlier. And lit the fire tonight. The kittens and I are toasty on the sofa. It’s funny cause in the Summer I hardly see them.


Headed over to Salhouse Broad for a ‘walk and talk’ this morning. I saw this family of swans. I do love swans. They’re so elegant and serene. I’ve made a career out of being a swan – serene on the surface but the legs going like the clappers underneath.

It’s a good skill to have, to keep your head when things aren’t going to plan. I’m trying to bring that to every part of my life.

It seems to be working with our jumping too. We were flying this afternoon in our final lesson before we head off to the Champs. They were ‘a good metre’. Which we know is instructor code for frigging huge.

I filled up the lorry ready for the off on Friday. Only £160 to fill it up! I nearly passed out at the pump. But this could be our only chance to represent our riding club at a Champs. So balls to it! And I love toast…

Two halves

Today we headed back to Forest Edge Arena for a BHS clinic with Jo Winfield. We haven’t been back there for a while. Buddy soon made himself at home.

We had a 9am lesson so meant a rather early start for us. Then we arrived super early as traffic wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. Better that way than late I guess.

Our first lesson was flatwork and a bit of a washout as Buddy didn’t feel right. Wasn’t sure if he’d tweaked something or it was because he hadn’t had a chance to loosen up.

Thought I’d take him for a hack round the forest so said I’d change my saddle from the dressage to my jump. Jo suggested I come back first. The difference in him was marked. So it seems it could be the saddle that was the issue. Or maybe he’s just not a fan of early morning work…

Second lesson this afternoon and Buddy was back to his normal exuberant self and by the end we were jumping round a course of 90s. Such a relief I can tell you.

I will get him checked over, just to be on the safe side. I’ve got the saddle fitter out soon so will stick to my jump for now. And looks like I may have to start saving my pennies for a new dressage saddle. Buddy has expensive taste in saddles. Anyone need a kidney?!

Bog monster

Buddy fully embraced his Irish breeding with a well-deserved mud pack roll in the sunshine. Seems appropriate as it’s St Patrick’s Day.

He definitely earned it after a cracking jumping lesson this morning with Lewis from Neric Equestrian. The improvement on our last lesson was marked. So were the heights as ‘Whack ‘em up Palmer’ was on full form.

We were flying 1m+ jumps by the end. Put the biggest smile on my face. Even with an unscheduled dismount. When it’s good, my goodness it’s good!! Need to get out to a competition and put it all into practise.


My little boy was flying this afternoon. Mostly away from the hedge that clearly had monster in it. 🤦🏻‍♀️

He’s been in this school thousands of times, but every now and then he decides that the far end of the arena is deadly territory.

I’ve been reading a cracking book called ‘Horse Brain, Human Brain’. It’s really helping me get inside his head.

At least today, we jumped all the jumps. In the right order. With impulsion. And a little bit of style. I’ll take that!!


Well Buddy excelled himself today! And not just in the mud stakes. He happily jumped through a double without hesitation or running out.

We nearly didn’t do anything as I left my saddle and bridle at home. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I took them home to clean after the show on Sunday and totally forgot to pick them up.

Luckily it’s a 3 min drive back to mine from the yard. A quick round trip sorted that one out.

Then I saw the mud. Buddy seemed rather pleased with himself. Don’t blame him. It was a glorious day and wonderful he can go out naked.

Time to prepare

As we get closer to lockdown easing, I thought it was time to get the preparations really moving.

A little spot of arena eventing today. Buddy flew everything. Not bad seeing as he hasn’t jumped the palisade jump for probably 18 months.

Then I took him round the block in the lorry. Think he was a bit confused at such a short journey. We’re ready for the off!